Since David Rearick was a 12-year-old boy, a major part of his life has revolved around sailing. Once he experienced the joy of being around water, he immersed himself in learning how boats harness the wind and waves. He had big dreams and got involved in local races, setting courses, encouraging others, and creating opportunities for people to learn and to race. His focus expanded from races hosted by Michigan City Yacht Club, Michigan City, Indiana, to those held across the Great Lakes, encompassing crewed and solo opportunities.
Dave has sailed Sunfish, Hobie Cats, Lasers, J/24s, Open 50s, Class 40s as well open pulling boats, large schooners and many other sailing vessels. Dave is most often associated with the well-known boat Geronimo, and more recently, with the J/V 67 Defiance.
A continual leaner, he became a good project manager, whose approach helped streamline race management, boat management and racing campaigns. When he lost his good friend Mike Silverthorne during the 2002 Lake Michigan Solo Scramble, he advocated for stronger communication and safety standards for solo races.
His love for sailing and the environment created a desire to educate children, helping them to understand how much math and science figure into play, how attention to the way we live improves the environment. His gentile encouragement has opened the eyes and hearts of children to realize they can try new things and succeed. It has also spawned a host of young sailors who benefit from his work on their local boats, his talks, and the kind attention of a mentor.
Always an advocate for doing the right thing, Dave exemplifies good sportsmanship, fairness and integrity. These traits, coupled with his sense of humor and ability to tell stories on himself, have earned him the respect of his peers, which is enhanced by his sailing wins, records and solo circumnavigation on Bodacious Dream (which was supported by Hall of Famer John Hoskins).
As of Spring 2018, Dave has raced in 30 Chicago Mackinac races, 7 Solo Chicago Mackinac races, 2 Solo Port Huron Mackinac races, 4 Lake Michigan Singlehanded Society Solo Trans-Michigan Races, 2 Atlantic Cup Races and many ocean races, including Newport to Bermuda, Montego Bay and the Transpacific Yacht Race.
Dave has received the following awards: 1998 Great Lakes Singlehanded Society President’s Challenge Cup, the 2003 Mike Silverthorne Memorial Trophy, the 2014 Ralph Eilberg Award for Outstanding Seamanship and the 2016 US Coast Guard Merchant Marine Credential.
Dave’s community involvement includes leading the Michigan City Junior Sail Program, assisting in upkeep and refurbishing of the fleet, sharing knowledge to improve the program, and inviting Junior Sailors to sail with him in Saturday club races. He is very involved in the Michigan City Yacht Club racing program by helping in many aspects of the program, mentoring new sailors through casual conversation, racing on their boats, and encouraging individuals to join recreational Friday night sails, which has led to many new sailors and races.
In addition to Dave’s sailing experiences, he has lectured at school functions, helped build the educational outreach program for the Atlantic Cup Race known as the Atlantic Cup Kids Program, created Bodacious Dream Expeditions web site and Facebook page to share and educate followers of “Captain Dave’s” voyages, creating a learning experience agenda for parents and educators, is involved in the Hurricane Island Outward Bound School, and is the author of many articles for yachting magazines.
Dave has contacted boat yards on Lake Michigan seeking their support to make environmentally positive changes, has reached out to yacht clubs, event organizers and sailing fleets to implement simple changes that have a big impact on the fragile ecosystems, such as eliminating single-use water bottles and facilitated an Earthwatch partnership during his solo circumnavigation conducting observations and small experiments to help Earthwatch’s mission of improving scientific understanding of the oceans. In 2017, the Atlantic Cup became the first sporting event in the USA to receive an ISO 20121 certification and the only regatta worldwide to achieve platinum level status from Sailors for the Sea. Dave serves as part of the Atlantic Cup sustainability team.
Boating safety is one of Dave’s greatest concerns and he insists that every sailor in a crew knows his responsibilities all the while racing for pleasure. In August 2017 Dave helped Michael Leland fulfill a lifelong dream by coaching and guiding Michael in his quest to sail across the Atlantic, reversing the course of the Vikings. He imparted his knowledge and seamanship to the crew focusing on the safety features of sailing to make their adventure memorable.
A man of such knowledge, experience and unselfishness deserves to be in the Lake Michigan Sailing Hall Of Fame. It is with profound pleasure that David Rearick is inducted to the Lake Michigan Sailing Hall Of Fame.
June 30, 2018
Michigan City Yacht Club
Michigan City, Indiana
David Rearick was nominated by the Board of Directors of Michigan City Yacht Club to the Lake Michigan Sailing Hall of Fame.